UK/Euro Sales Enquiries 07802437827, +44-780-2437827, USA and Other Sales +64-9-358-5835

Brand Meets Bib

Sports bib keywording - identifying participants in marathons etc - provides new opportunities for monetising images by recording the brands appearing in them. Here are a few ways such information can be...
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Get Your Pictures Out Of Hiding

Although no one intends to hide images from their customers, it's amazing what lengths people inadvertently go to achieving that outcome by mistake.  Here are some classic errors, and how to avoid them.  Hide...
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Just Add Staff and Avoid The Risks Of Hiring

Adding staff to the payroll can be a harrowing and costly experience, whether looking to fill a temporary position, getting work done overnight or adding permanent staff.  Now Picsell Media can take away the...
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Losing Focus With Your Image Feeds?

Sending too many images to prospective buyers is a cardinal sin, but often one that is committed due to lack of staff and time.  How do we know a Focused Feed of images - edited down to meet the target...
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Brand Info – Find It to Protect It

Huge numbers of celebrity images contain brand information, even if the photographer and their agents don't realise.  The question isn't so much if it can be found (it can) but who will benefit from those...
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New Year, New Ideas

As image and news agencies get to grips with the challenges of 2017, here are a few ideas about things you could change to make life easier, and improve sales: Curate to improve performance - Spewing unedited...
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You Choose – the Hard Way, or the Easy Way

It's one of the oldest lines in the book: "we can do this the hard way, or the easy way - your choice".  The astonishing thing is how often people opt for the hard way and suffer the consequences.   But...
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Consider These Image Library Software Partners

Picsell Media uses software from some of the biggest and best providers, working in and on their systems to deliver efficient results when entering metadata and managing image flow.  Here are three providers...
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Getting Started With Outsourcing

Whilst many image agencies see the benefits of outsourcing photo desk work in terms of improved performance, cost control and allowing better focus on core business, it is another matter to get started on...
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Helping Image Libraries Increase Social Media Use

We recently updated our customer relations management system (CRM) and found some interesting trends in use of social media by photo agencies since our last big roundup six months ago.  More agencies are...
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Take The 1,000 Image Challenge

Prospective clients often wonder if they really have the sort of images that contain many saleable brands in them.  Our 1,000 Image Challenge will answer the question, for free. All you have to do is contact...
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Now Get Services By The Hour

With shrinking numbers of photo agency staff, it is often a problem to cover duties which need to be done intermittently, or for just a few times each day.  That problem becomes even bigger if you're covering...
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Image Galleries Sales Opportunity

The duplication of effort involved in preparing galleries of celebrity and news images for blogs and web sites presents a sales opportunity for switched on photo agencies. The size of that opportunity was...
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Brandlink Launches To Help PRs Find Stars And Brands

Represent a brand or in charge of its publicity, but struggling to know when celebrities are wearing or using that brand?  A new innovation from can keep your finger on the pulse.  ...
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Mixing Your Deadlines To Maximise Cash

Being first with the news isn't always best, as deadlines become more and more complex amongst the many forms of publications, both physical and electronic.  Working out the right mix of delivery deadlines...
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Targeting Image Feeds For Sub Agents and Resellers

Poor targeting of image feeds sent to sub-agents and resellers can be costly, but there are ways of avoiding that mistake. With photo and news agencies having complex webs of sellers throughout the world, it...
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Innovative Solutions For The 21st Century

Picsell Media has a single-minded goal – to help image companies, and those who use images, to make the most of the world of digital imagery by standing out from the crowd in terms of performance and meeting customer needs.

Often that involves improving quality and efficiency with our outsourced metadata and workflow solutions. We also help our clients develop new revenue streams, and ways to beat the competition in a crowded marketplace through more focused marketing and accurate research.  Whether it’s because your company no longer has the staff, you can’t cover the 24/7 sales day, or you need new ways of making money – we can help.

With offices in Auckland and London, we span the time zones.  With a background in image syndication and journalism, we have a unique insight into the problems faced by all concerned.  And with a reputation for innovation, quality and integrity, it’s no accident that we work for some of the biggest names in the business.

Read below to find out more about what we have to offer.

Image Desk Streamlines Workflow 24/7

Running a photo desk every hour of the day and night is a time-consuming and costly business.  As image agencies increasingly concentrate on the need to make sales and generate revenue, the crucial tasks of getting images to market can seem like a heavy burden. But if that work isn’t done well, sales and profitability suffer.  So what’s the solution?

By outsourcing the basic image desk and workflow tasks to Picsell Media, you can remove the headache, while improving the quality of work.  Not to mention that if you are only working within business hours at present, we can insure your production gets where it needs to around the clock from our offices in London and Auckland.

With years of experience working for the biggest names in the business, our staff know how to get images and videos to market on time, looking good, with concise and literate captions, and accurate keywords and metadata.  They can help you avoid embarrassing factual errors and the potential for legal problems from defamation, privacy laws or court orders.  They can also deal with the complexities of exclusive image sets and on-hold procedures, working via web sites, or by using image flows.

If there’s little or no work to be done, you don’t have to pay for staff to be twiddling their thumbs or doing other make-work tasks badly.  There are no more problems with recruitment, training, rosters, office space and administration costs – just a regular bill based on the work actually done.

Your procedures will be documented to ensure consistency, with our Client Database detailing the various procedures for a myriad of contributors and their particular ways they need rights, editing and captions handled.  We can even find ways to streamline your procedures to get work done faster and better.

For a free initial consultation, just get in touch by clicking here.

Keywording, Metadata For Editorial & Stock

Relevant and accurate keywording for editorial and stock images and videos is the primary tool for getting them found and sold.  Not to mention identifying the correct photographer, the rights, locations and more.  It is no accident that the most successful image libraries in the world invest heavily in keywording and metadata.  As archives continue grow, it is the secret sauce that feeds sales.

But perhaps not so secret, as Picsell Media staff are experienced in delivering a range of keywording standards, from Getty and Alamy through to bespoke standards for celebrity photo agencies and archives.

Those who have good keywording can atest to the advantage that gives their images against their contributors in large aggregator image sites and the market generally.  They know that customers keep coming back because they can find what they want, while others make a token effort with AI or crowd-sourced keywords, or none at all.

The cornerstones of the keywording effort are vocabularies, templates and keywording rules – all documented for each client and their specific needs.  Picsell Media staff – almost all university graduates with degrees in Communications, Art History or English – work from offices in London and Auckland.  No outworkers, no outsourcing to Third World countries.

Whether you are using a controlled vocabulary with a detailed taxonomy, or need keywords added on the fly, our team is up to the task.

As well as standard editorial and stock keywording, we offer specialised services such as keyword fix-up, fashion and beauty, brand keywording, street style, and even keywording of bib numbers in images from fun runs, marathons, triathlons and other competitions.

To find out more about what we have to offer, click here to make an enquiry.

New Revenue From Celebrity Brand Images

Brand for signatureMany celebrity, news and sports photo agencies have a wealth of images which contain brand associations.  In most cases, those associations go unnoticed and unsold.  We can change all that for image libraries, brand publicisers and retailers – unlocking new ways of making money through native advertising, PR use and “get the look” advertorial features.  Not just with fashion items, but by taking advantage of the many possibilities presented by other types of products – from baby bottles to sports cars.

Being able to identify brands within celebrity, news and sports images can create revenue in a number of ways.  The traditional avenue has been to assist fashion editors and bloggers needing to find and license images to illustrate fashion trends and the work of particular designers.  But increasingly the trend is to license images to public relations firms, brand managers or advertising agencies.  In turn, these companies make their money by launching social media campaigns and supporting native advertising with authentic images of real celebrity news.  Native advertising, supported by such “real” images, is beginning to take over from the far more expensive and difficult-to-organise product placement services.  This is even more so due to the growth of adblocking software and the scandal of click-through fraud. Via our brand, we offer the following services:

  • Identifying and keywording brands within images to enable existing sales teams to increase their success
  • Supporting sales with Front Line Image Alerts sent to your sales people and/or potential buyers immediately the brand images are identified from new production
  • Making sales on a commission basis on behalf of the image agency
  • Providing URL links to brands in celebrity images for “get the look” and similar features
  • Working with retailers to utilise celebrity brand images to boost online sales

Getting Images To The Front Of The Queue

Core for signature

Via our Core Celeb brand, we have affordable solutions to get celebrity and news images preferential treatment in key international markets.  We create carefully-edited, well-labelled and targeted feeds of the latest shots, which photo buyers need just a few minutes to look through.  To support that work, we find the best images as they arrive at our clients’ servers, and send email alerts to assist salespeople and photo editors alike.  We can also assist with rating images on your web site or provide image research services for your customers, charged on an hour basis.

Photo editors are increasingly burdened by a deluge of images as sellers try to get their latest pictures in front of purchasers.  It’s an understandable, but increasingly unsuccessful sales strategy, as customers tire of looking through irrelevant, poorly-labelled image sets.  Web sites take even longer to wade through. In some cases, companies with the most to offer are being ignored in favour of those with smaller feeds which are easier to look through.

A Core Celeb feed can re-focus, or be added to existing image distribution systems.  Editing feeds to deliver what is relevant helps earn extra one-off sales, and supports the usability and worth of subscription deals.  All for a few cents per image set.  Core Celeb image editors can create and deliver feeds and image alerts throughout the news day, in a variety of time zones.  Addressing the demands of the key markets is a major focus.  What is of interest in Britain may not be in America, Germany or Australia.

Overall, by making it easier to find the best images, we keep our clients at the forefront of suppliers, allowing them to maximise sales, and keep image buyers valuing their subscription services.

News, Views And Information

The Picsell Media blog contains news and insights relating to image metadata, editing, workflow, keywording, distribution, focused feeds, research, and brands found in images of celebrities.  Click on the post below to be taken to our blog to read the full story.  You can click here to go straight to the blog.

Avoiding Keywording Drift

It’s not quite in the same league as continental drift, but for photo agencies, keywording drift is a lot more serious. 

Put simply, keywording drift is the slow (or sometimes not so slow) change in the way keywording terms are applied over time.

The consequence is that the effectiveness of how customers search for a library’s images slowly but surely diminishes.  Search terms which used to produce relevant results no longer work because those keywords aren’t being added anymore, while others may or may not have taken their place. It can also result in the general standard of keywording diminishing across the board.

The primary cause of this problem is what is known as seat-of-the-pants keywording, where keyworders don’t use vocabularies or written rules, and essentially make it up as they go along. Even the keenest mind finds it impossible to remain consistent for very long.  If keywording isn’t the staff member’s main job, then the problem is infinitely worse.

This can even occur with controlled vocabularies, which often require good memory to choose the appropriate term from a complicated web of search terms.

The solution to this insidious problem is to outsource the work to companies with full-time keywording professionals who use vocabularies, keywording rules and prompt cards to keep their application of terms as consistent as possible.  At Picsell Media, extensive training and regular quality control also makes a huge difference.

For a free assessment of your keywording, and information about consistent outsourced keywording, click here.

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Brand Meets Bib

Sports bib keywording – identifying participants in marathons etc – provides new opportunities for monetising images by recording the brands appearing in them.

Here are a few ways such information can be used:

  • Advertising use  Depending on the release that participants sign before the event, there may be opportunities to license the very best images for advertising purposes, with the advertiser’s brand prominently displayed.
  • PR use  This is a little more subtle, but as there is a real event, it is a ready-made PR opportunity.  And PR needs pictures.
  • Social Media  Having this pre-programmed, means that the brand promoter can be tweeting and posting within an hour or so of the event finishing, or possibly during the event itself.
  • Event publicity  Images which can be used for promotion of subsequent events, paid for by the company whose brand is prominently displayed.
  • Statistics gathering  By collating the brands identified, you can provide clothing and equipment companies with useful and quotable statistics.

To maximise such opportunities, you need to do the leg work of contacting the brand managers, advertising and/or PR companies in advance.  This enables the promotional value of the images to be maximised by their immediacy, and also means that you know the whole idea is worthwhile because potential clients are already onboard.

To ask us about brands and bib keywording, click here.

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Get Your Pictures Out Of Hiding

Although no one intends to hide images from their customers, it’s amazing what lengths people inadvertently go to achieving that outcome by mistake.  Here are some classic errors, and how to avoid them. 

Hide your images in plain sight – It is incredible how often excellent images are not brought to the attention of customers because the importance isn’t recognised by the photo agency concerned.  Make sure your metadata and editing staff know who is who and what is what, so that great images don’t go unnoticed.

Use a forest to hide the trees – Too many images make it difficult for customers to see what’s available. Edit your images, use focused feeds and timing of distribution so that you don’t overwhelm customers so they can’t see the wood for the trees.

Get the search called off – Have such poor keywording and metadata, that lots of irrelevant searches keep coming up, to the point that customers can’t be bothered to keep searching. You can counter this problem with good keywording, strict editing and providing free or even paid-for research services.

Use plain packaging – It’s the classic ruse to hide items from the authorities, but don’t do the equivalent by sending image sets out in folders with names which don’t reveal what’s inside. Having to open each folder is tedious, and leads to your images being shoved down the list when picture editors are looking at the latest shots.  Use folder names that quickly reveal what’s inside.

To find out more about how we can help get your images out of hiding, click here.

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Just Add Staff and Avoid The Risks Of Hiring

Adding staff to the payroll can be a harrowing and costly experience, whether looking to fill a temporary position, getting work done overnight or adding permanent staff.  Now Picsell Media can take away the pain and ease the cost, while delivering top quality staff in New Zealand.

Just Add Staff, or JAS for short, builds on Picsell Media’s reputation for supplying outsourced services to assist the image business – everything from editing and providing a virtual picture desk, through to keywording, image rankings and much more.  What’s different with JAS, is that the staff are completely under the direction of customers for whatever they require, rather than carrying out specific tasks.

This is much more like a standard BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) model, where outsourcing is measured by staffing levels, not the tasks themselves.  This relieves customers from the burden of finding, hiring, contracting and supervising staff.  The cost of computers, broadband internet, office space, and holiday cover are also included.

Unlike in the case of outsourcing to the Philippines, India or Eastern Europe, JAS staff are almost all university graduates who have English as their native language.  And they are from a company which prides itself on high standards of service delivery in the industry.

Packages available include temporary staff for special projects or to fill maternity leave, overnight staff (supervised) to carry out tasks ready for the next morning, and permanent staff billed at a fixed cost per month.

With many photo agencies keen to balance budgets, and without the time to spend hiring and firing, JAS is an excellent solution, opening up possibilities for even the smallest companies.

To find out more about what is available, just click here.

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F, F, F Fashion – It Isn’t Enough

There are some fantastic image library web sites which focus on the latest pictures of fashion – fashion shows, street fashion, star style and more.  That really is great, and fantastic for picture editors wanting to do a story about the latest fashion trends, what was new at Spring/Summer fashion shows or which stars like wearing boots. But often there is also something missing – brand keywords! 

While in a fashion show the brand and the designer are a given, there are even greater opportunities for licensing images to PRs or for use in social media if the brand is identified and keyworded.

On average, our team finds a handful of brand items in images we submit for use by companies which do get-the-look features. And a significant proportion of all celebrity candid images will have identifiable brands.

The reason the street images are so valuable is that they show items that consumers can readily imagine themselves buying and wearing.  That is partly because the fashion is more conservative, but also because they are seen actually on the street.  This is why street style imagery is proving a popular alternative to star style.

To find out how we can help get your brand identification and keywording on track, click here.

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Losing Focus With Your Image Feeds?

Sending too many images to prospective buyers is a cardinal sin, but often one that is committed due to lack of staff and time.  How do we know a Focused Feed of images – edited down to meet the target market, without overwhelming customers – is worthwhile?  And what can you do about focusing your image feeds?

The answer to the first question comes from frontline experience of seeing how clients have benefitted from the edited feeds. Universally, they have received positive feedback from their overworked customers who say they appreciate being able to look through what’s on offer quickly, and that they find it easier to buy.

In many cases this has meant that image feeds previously viewed by picture editors last each morning (and sometimes not at all) are the first to be considered for purchase.

What’s more, the experiment of turning on Focused Feeds, then seeing how things go without them, has been tried by one of our clients.  The result was a significant dip in sales as disgruntled customers complained about going back to the bad old days of lots of irrelevant imagery and overwhelming volume.  Once the Focused Feed was reinstated, sales picked up again.  Lesson learned.

To find out how to focus your image feeds and improve sales around the clock, contact us by clicking here.  We can talk you through how we can edit your images, and, where appropriate, arrange for a limited-time trial.  At the very least you will find out if the process works for your customers.

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Rage Against The Machine

Search rage is best defined as the uncontrollable frustration and anger resulting from being unable to find what is being searched for on the internet.  For businesses such as photo libraries, video libraries and on-line retailers that means lost sales.

The key thing for on-line libraries and retailers to understand is that people can get so annoyed that they may not return to your site, and certainly are likely to return to the sites of your competitors if the experience is significantly better.  The key driver of that frustration is how long it takes to find what is wanted.

Good keywording and simple search mechanisms are the answer to the problem, but it is not always obvious that this is necessary.  It is tempting to think only about existing customers and whether they can find what they’re looking for in any one search session.  The problem is that those who were frustrated with how hard it was to find what they wanted have long since voted with their mice and gone elsewhere, which makes the problem all the harder to find. “None of our customers have complained so we don’t think keywording is an issue”, I was once told by a photo library which is now starting to lose sales to a keyword-conscious competitor.

And how badly do people get frustrated? According to a study by company Webtop, the answer is “very”. Their study in 2000 showed about 1/3 reported difficulty searching to be “very frustrating,” rising to nearly 3/4 reporting frustration of some significant degree (3 or above).

On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is not at all frustrated and 5 is very frustrated, how frustrating do you find getting irrelevant information when web searching?

5 – Very frustrated 29%
4 17%
3 31%
2 11%
1 – Not at all frustrated 9%

Of even more interest perhaps was the question of how long iwas too long until searching the web drove people crazy? On average, 12 minutes, the survey found. The survey also showed that if searching could provide results in 3 minutes or less, only 7 percent of people would be frustrated.

So how long does it take before you get frustrated searching the Web for accurate information?

Longer than 15 minutes 49%
11-15 minutes 13%
6-10 minutes 15%
4-5 minutes 12%
2-3 minutes 3%
1 minute 1%
0-30 seconds 3%
Don’t know 4%

So next time you wonder if your site is as searchable as it should be, try doing some very specific searches and see how long it takes to find what you need.  Using the table above you’ll be able to get a good idea of how many customers and sales are at stake.

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Brand Info – Find It to Protect It

Huge numbers of celebrity images contain brand information, even if the photographer and their agents don’t realise.  The question isn’t so much if it can be found (it can) but who will benefit from those links.

Those who have identified the links can profit from them by licensing them to PR firms, brand managers and retailers paying for get-the-look features.  An image with identifiable brands that celebrities use and wear therefore has a potentially higher value than those that don’t.

But there is nothing to stop someone licensing such an image at a bargain-basement rate and then using it for a high-value purpose.  To stop losing out on such revenue, here are three important measures you can take:

  1. Identify the brands in the first place.  Without this step you have no way of finding or selling the brands.
  2. Find and sell the images to those with an interest in brands as early as possible to beat others in the market.
  3. Establish links with brand image re-sellers and re-users, such as those publishing get-the-look features, to establish regular brand sales channels.

To find out how to make money from celebrity brand images, click here.

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New Year, New Ideas

As image and news agencies get to grips with the challenges of 2017, here are a few ideas about things you could change to make life easier, and improve sales:

Curate to improve performance – Spewing unedited sets of images to potential buyers used to work once upon a time, but not in 2017. Make this the year you get to grips with your production and find ways to showcase your best images while minimising the rest.

Make the lives of your customers easier – Offer, or enhance, services such as image research and image ranking, and anticipate customer needs by creating sets of images that are ready to drop into their web pages. It all adds up to more revenue.

Embrace new revenue streams – Whether it’s marketing images displaying brands, or providing read-to-go image sets, or another idea, take the time to develop new revenue streams rather than simply relying on the old ones.

Make the most of social media – If you’re not using social media to promote your production and/or your successes, stop watching competitors steal a march on you.  Social media can not only build sales, it’s a great tool to recruit photographers and other contributors.

Outsource for efficiency – Cut costs and get work down 24/7.  It’s an industry that doesn’t stop, and lack of directly-employed staff doesn’t have to hold you back.

To find our more about how Core Celeb can help you in 2017, click here.

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USA and Other +64-9-358-5835